Be An Educated Consumer: Protect Yourself
Advice from the President of T.Ryan Contracting , Inc.
In Florida, and especially in the tropical Florida Keys, roofing is too important to automatically go to the lowest bidder because, unfortunately, some Monroe County “contractors” simply use other contractors’ licenses “to pull permits.” Even when you think you’re getting the benefit of Florida’s stringent contractor licensing laws, sometimes the roofer is not a professional, and the license he’s claiming is not his own and yes this is legal.
How do you protect yourself against this?
First, go to the state’s website and check to see if you’re dealing with right person and company. Is the person you are dealing with listed on the state license and is the address on that license local or from another part of the state altogether? Licensing Portal – License Search
Second, understand the level of licensing to understand competency. In Florida your contractor is either “ certified “ or “registered”: Certified contractors’ license number all start with a CCC followed by the number sequence of their license. Registered contractors start with an RC. The difference is substantial in that certified contractors must go through stringent state background and financial checks and must pass a 2-day written exam. After passing these stringent requirements, the contractor is then unlimited in the areas or scope of roofing he may perform anywhere in the state of Florida. On the other hand, a registered contractor simply registers the company with the state and complies with local licensing requirements to work in a specific area only. Local license requirements are often MUCH less stringent and insufficient at best.
The Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association offers more details.
There are also “ contractors “ here in Florida who do not carry workers compensation for employees. This is a dangerous situation for homeowners because if a worker is hurt in this high risk occupation , you the homeowner could be held accountable. In this business, the average claim for someone who falls off a roof is more than one million dollars .
Again, how do you protect yourself?
Ask for insurance certificates and call the insurance agent listed to verify in force coverage !! If a contractor claims he’s workers comp exempt, think red flag! Although contractors in Florida may elect to exempt themselves personally from coverage, they may not exempt their employees. When a contractor does not even cover himself, odds are he has a “ cash crew”, who is not insured.
Another common problem in Monroe County is sub-contracting, which can be a concern for the roofing customer: You think you’re hiring a company with certain qualifications, when in fact, that company is subcontracting the work elsewhere at a lower cost, and sometimes even using illegal workers.
How do you protect yourself?
Hire a local contractor with a a local office, not just a phone number. Hire a contractor with the best reputation possible. One who has a long history of standing behind his work because your roof is too important to trust to someone who will never see it again, like a sub contractor. Monroe County requires contractors to have a commercial place of business. Don’t accept a “ contractor “ who works out of a residential address.
T.Ryan Contracting is located at 21423 Overseas Highway, Cudjoe, FL 33042 in a building we own. We have a fantastic reputation in the area and we NEVER, NEVER subcontract work to others. All work is done by well paid, well insured employees and the company is licensed by the owner, Tim Gould who at some point, visits each work site. You can count on that; just like you can count on us if you need us!
T.Ryan Contracting key employees attend the latest installation seminars given by manufacturers at least once every 6 months. These seminars are required for commercial contractors. Commercial contractors routinely perform work at a much higher quality level than do strictly residential contractors. T.Ryan contracting brings that same commercial level of quality to your residential roof. One more way for consumers to protect themselves is by checking with agencies that have already done all the required prescreening of contractors, such as Home Advisor. Home Advisor checks contractors for criminal backgrounds, credit worthiness , financial means , licensing and insurance and continuously monitors this criteria. Home advisor also contacts customers of contractors directly after the project completion and does a discrete review and rating of the contractor .
T.Ryan Contracting has maintained a 5-star Home Advisor rating ( the highest rating possible ) for many years now.
Although it may seem overwhelming, homeowners need to be diligent and look at the whole picture. Do you really want to go with the lowest bidder on something as important as your roof ? Probably not: Someday your roof may be the only thing between you and very severe weather!
Remember: Your roof is your first line of protection.
T.Ryan Contracting strives to be competitive, especially in our mid-to-lower keys area. Where we will strive to meet any apples-to-apples pricing on your roof from all legitmate roofing contractors !
Timothy Gould / President
T.Ryan Contracting , inc.
21423 Overseas Highway , Cudjoe Key , Florida 33042
305 872 9214 (Florida Keys)
954 913 0026 (South Florida)
CCC 025496 Florida state certified since 1983
The only 5 star Home Advisor contractor for Monroe county
Member in good standing of both the Florida keys Contractors Association and the Florida Roofing and sheet Metal Assoication.